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Creative Writing Audition Packet

The Creative Writing department at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts offers a

comprehensive curriculum of classes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama. The

program provides young writers with the opportunity to study the styles and voices of

contemporary writers in various genres, develop their own literary talents, and facilitate

their command of the writer’s craft. The program will nurture and challenge students in

developing the writing and workshop skills necessary to further their voices, and foster

success in the future – whether pursuing writing, literature, or an unrelated field.

Creative Writing Department Auditions

The Creative Writing audition is a multi-step process beginning with the submission of a

digital writing portfolio (requirements below), which serves as the initial audition.

Portfolios meeting the criteria for the second round will be offered an interview.

Acceptance will be based upon the merit of the portfolio and the interview.

Creative Writing Department Required Portfolio

All Creative Writing applicants must submit a digital writing portfolio that demonstrates

both your artistic and technical skills. This portfolio should be uploaded as a PDF and sent

to [email protected] . You will receive an email upon receipt of your portfolio.

Portfolios require the following:

● a title page containing your name, your grade, and your current school

● a personal statement of no more than one page answering the question, “Why do

you want to be a Creative Writer at BISFA?”

● one piece of fiction – Should be a full story with a beginning, middle, and end (not to

exceed 2 pages single-spaced)

● 2-3 pieces of poetry

● a one-paragraph analysis of the attached piece of writing “Linoleum Roses” (guiding

questions included in excerpt)

● a current teacher recommendation emailed to [email protected]


The Creative Writing panel will evaluate portfolios/writing prompts with the following in


● demonstrated writing skill and technique

● creative and artistic merit

● content, organization, grammar, and mechanics of written work

● potential for trainable growth

● serious commitment to the study of writing (as per personal statement)

● passion for the writing craft

Portfolio Scoring

A copy of the Portfolio Score Sheet is included in the packet. All pieces of writing will be

assessed using the included rubric. Due to the amount of applicants, feedback will not be

given on submitted portfolios. Portfolios and score sheets will not be returned to the


Important Things to Know:

● Portfolios must include all required elements in order to be considered.

● Proofreading is necessary: scores will be greatly reduced for significant errors in

spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage. Have someone read your portfolio and

give you feedback. All writers revise. All writers edit.

● Make sure that your portfolio shows a range of your writing.

● The application process is very competitive. If you are not accepted into the

program this year, please apply again next year if this is truly your passion.

● For questions regarding portfolio submission requirements, please email Mrs.

Anderson (Lead Creative Writing teacher) at [email protected]

Excerpt for Analysis Paragraph

“Linoleum Roses”

from The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros

Sally got married like we knew she would, young and not ready but married just the

same. She met a marshmallow salesman at a school bazaar, and she married him in another state

where it’s legal to get married before eighth grade. She has her husband and her house now, her

pillowcases and her plates. She says she is in love, but I think she did it to escape.

Sally says she likes being married because now she gets to buy her own things when her

husband gives her money. She is happy, except sometimes her husband gets angry and once he

broke the door where his foot went through, though most days he is okay. Except he won’t let

her talk on the telephone. And he doesn’t let her look out the window. And he doesn’t like her

friends, so nobody gets to visit her unless he is working.

She sits at home because she is afraid to go outside without his permission. She looks at

all the things they own: the towels and the toaster, the alarm clock and the drapes. She likes

looking at the walls, at how neatly their corners meet, the linoleum roses on the floor, the ceiling

smooth as wedding cake.

Vocabulary note: Linoleum is a fake tile. It is a material meant to look like tile, but it is made of


Questions to consider in your one-page analysis:

(You needn’t address all of them, but you may use them as a jumping off point)

● What point of view is this being told from? Why might this be important?

● Do you notice anything about the way that this is written? Does anything stick out to


● What could you say about the details in this piece?

● Do you see any symbolism?

● Why do you think that the writer ends on the image of the linoleum roses?

Creative Writing Portfolio Score Sheet Name:

Personal Statement

Statement demonstrates significant passion and interest in the writing craft 3 2 1

Statement is thoughtful, coherent, and well-written 3 2 1


Story demonstrates knowledge of technical skills 3 2 1

Story attempts to speak to a deeper meaning 3 2 1

Story is creative and thought provoking 3 2 1

Story demonstrates strong writing potential 3 2 1


Language is purposeful and evocative 3 2 1

Poems attempt to speak to a deeper meaning 3 2 1

Poems demonstrate strong writing potential 3 2 1

Excerpt Analysis

Analysis demonstrates strong technical writing skills 3 2 1

Analysis shows proficiency in understanding and analyzing literature 3 2 1

Overall Portfolio

Portfolio includes ALL necessary requirements 3 2 1

Portfolio is strong representation of writing potential 3 2 1